Audi Sport Team Absolute Racing confirms driver lineup for Suzuka 10 Hour
Audi Sport Team Absolute Racing confirms that it will compete for the second consecutive year in the Pro class of the Suzuka 10 Hours in Japan with an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo when Intercontinental GT Challenge visits Asia for its penultimate round of the season on August 23-25.
- Audi Sport Team Absolute Racing to field a Pro class entry
- Two of the three last year’s drivers return in 2019
- Former Absolute Racing race winner is back in the team
Audi Sport Team Absolute Racing made its debut at the headline event of the Asian endurance calendar last year, securing a third place finish with Audi Sport drivers Christopher Haase, Markus Winkelhock and Kelvin van der Linde.
For this year’s race Christopher Haase and Markus Winkelhock will share driving duties in the race with GT specialist Christopher Mies. The German driver is no stranger to the team having driven for Absolute Racing at selected races in 2014 GT Asia Series and 2015/2016 Asian Le Mans Series, winning races in both series.
In endurance racing terms, the 10 hours of Suzuka is the blue riband event of the Asian endurance season. Japan’s most prestigious long-distance event has featured several formats and championships since its debut in 1966. However, last year’s race introduced the longest format in its history, with drivers racing into the sunset and finishing after dusk following Sunday’s mid-morning start.
“It’s quite an honour for us to work with Audi Sport again in this year’s Suzuka event, particularly after the success we have enjoyed last year in this race,” said Absolute Racing Team Director Ingo Matter. “This year, we are determined to do even better. We are happy to have two drivers of last year’s line up, and to welcome back Mies. The last two races Mies did with Absolute Racing we won together so we hope to add a third victory. We are excited with the challenge ahead, but first we will focus on Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia round in Suzuka next month.”
Team Manager Michael Schneider added: “We are proud that Audi Sport has chosen to place their trust in us once again. To finish on the podium last year against such tough competition was a really great achievement. From a sporting perspective, for this year’s race we are excellently positioned with the three drivers we have. We are fully aware it is a tough task given the very high level of competition but I believe there are chances for us to fight for the win. This a great race for the drivers but also for our crew members, offering them the chance to use strategy and everything else that goes into long-distance races.”
This year’s Suzuka 10 Hour race weekend will have further special meaning for the team, with it being held in the same weekend as Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup’s return to the unique figure-of-eight layout.
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